Since I am on the mobile kick, I thought I would explore the genius behind the mobile – Alexander Calder. I was in Chicago at the MCA a while back and was mesmerized, once again. Calder’s line is so simple and fluid yet so expressive. I am at a loss for more eloquent ways to describe how happy his work makes me.
Alexander Calder (1898-1976), whose illustrious career spanned much of the 20th century, is one of the most acclaimed and influential sculptor of our time. Calder utilized his innovative genius to profoundly change the course of modern art. He began by developing a new method of sculpting: by bending and twisting wire, he essentially “drew” three-dimensional figures in space.
In the fall of 1931, a significant turning point in Calder’s artistic career occurred when he created his first truly kinetic sculpture and gave form to an entirely new type of art. The first of these objects moved by systems of cranks and motors, and were dubbed “mobiles” by Marcel Duchamp—in French mobile refers to both “motion” and “motive.” Calder soon abandoned the mechanical aspects of these works when he realized he could fashion mobiles that would undulate on their own with the air’s currents. Jean Arp, in order to differentiate Calder’s non-kinetic works from his kinetic works, named Calder’s stationary objects “stabiles.”
Calder also devoted himself to making outdoor sculpture on a grand scale from bolted sheet steel. Today, these stately titans grace public plazas in cities throughout the world. – via calder.org
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